' "Justice does not mean that you are guaranteed the result that you want; justice does not mean that you will be presumptively believed, or that your evidence will not be tested … You are guaranteed an opportunity to be heard and … a fair trial,” Ms. Henein said in a measured, yet somehow impassioned, way.' - The Globe and Mail
The social media outcry when Jian Ghomeshi was acquitted showed that emotion, not intellect ruled. The hashtag, IBelieveSurvivors describes faith. Fortunately, the justice system relies on evidence to provide proof of guilt. Do I believe that the three women who accused Ghomeshi of sexual assault were assaulted? I do. I also think they made a lot of bad decisions.
Is Ghomeshi attractive? He sure is. Is he a celebrity? Yes. I think these women were blinded by attention from someone who moved through and was comfortable in celebrity circles even though at the time of the assaults, Ghomeshi wasn't as "celebrated" as he became. They were flattered that he noticed them and shocked when he took liberties and "played rough." The one thing heard from Ghomeshi was the Facebook post where he defended his predilection for rough sex. No one cares (or they shouldn't) what his sexual proclivities are as long as they practiced by consenting adults.
The Crown in Canada doesn't have its own investigators. They depend on evidence uncovered by the police. In this case, charges were brought after relatively short interviews with the women. It seems that emails and pictures, even letters from the period of the assault weren't found. The Prosecution led by Marie Heinin was able to present damning evidence of the women seeking Ghomeshi's company after the assaults. Emails, a hand-written letter, pictures. One of the accusers claimed her attack occurred in Ghomeshi's yellow Volkswagen- a car he didn't own until 7 months later.
The credibility of the women kept being called into question. Admittedly, after ten or more years, details will be lost to memory; recollections will blur but everyone has seen enough television to know that once electronic records are "out there", they are never erased. Lucy DeCouterre and a second accuser texted and messaged one another saying things like, "He's going down, the pr--ck." It sounded like collusion and a conspiracy of a pair of spurned women.
Experts who work with victims of sexual assault have said that the actions of the three women are to be expected. Our justice system doesn't encourage women to come forward and when they do, sometimes they lose. The problem, then, as Justice William Horkins said in his ruling, the women were just not credible. There were too many inconsistencies in their testimony; he believed they were assaulted BUT he didn't believe that there wasn't reasonable doubt. The evidence needed to convict Ghomeshi wasn't there. All the inconsistencies, confusion and poor decisions of the women led to the verdict of "not guilty."
I've been writing on and off for years and this is where my more serious pieces will be.